Elevations Credit Union continues to grow its mortgage business, now ranked first in the state. It is also opening new branches, including this one in mid-town Fort Collins on South College Avenue. Ken Amundson for BizWest

Elevations grows its mortgage lending

BOULDER — Founded in 1953 as the U of C Federal Credit Union in Boulder, Elevations Credit Union has grown from 12 members and less than $100 in assets to an institution with more than 120,000 members that manages more than $1.8 billion in assets, making it the No. 1 credit union mortgage lender in Colorado.

“Our motto here is, ‘We underwrite the story not the stats.’ If in cases we cannot help a member now, we take the time to help them create a plan to get where they want to be,” Elevations chief lending officer Ray Lindley said.

ECU uses only automated decisioning for quick approvals. For those loans unapproved, ECU has underwriters who take the time to manually review for possible solutions to assist borrowers. 

“We dedicate a portion of our overall portfolio for individuals who may not qualify based on standard underwriting rules but have a strong reason or explanation for their issues,” Lindley said. “An example: Individuals who moved out of an extremely hard-hit state due to job changes and had to sell a home at a loss causing foreclosures or bankruptcies. If we can validate and document the timing we may still be able to help them get into a home here.”

Into the future, Lindley said ECU is continuing to work on ways to make the mortgage process easier for members, through technology, process changes and enhanced tools. The credit union constantly monitors the markets and feedback from its members to improve the level of service, he said.

“In today’s world of ease of use and simple fulfillment of all needs, what members expect and deserve is changing and we need to change to keep up with what it takes to delight them,” Lindley said.

In spite of rising mortgage rates, business remains strong, Lindley said. “Soon after the financial crisis, most lenders and government agencies tightened up standards. Over the past couple years with strong economic performance and a steadily growing housing market, we have seen underwriting standards ease some,” Lindley said.

Business has shifted, however. With rising interest rates, refinancing activity has slowed. That volume has been replaced with new mortgages to support purchases of new homes as growth continues along the Front Range.

BOULDER — Founded in 1953 as the U of C Federal Credit Union in Boulder, Elevations Credit Union has grown from 12 members and less than $100 in assets to an institution with more than 120,000 members that manages more than $1.8 billion in assets, making it the No. 1 credit union mortgage lender in Colorado.

“Our motto here is, ‘We underwrite the story not the stats.’ If in cases we cannot help a member now, we take the time to help them create a plan to get where they want to be,” Elevations chief lending officer Ray Lindley said.

ECU uses only automated decisioning for quick approvals. For those loans unapproved, ECU has underwriters who take the time to manually review for possible solutions to assist borrowers. 

“We dedicate a portion of our overall portfolio for individuals who may not qualify based on standard underwriting rules but have a strong reason or explanation for their issues,” Lindley said. “An example: Individuals who moved out of an extremely hard-hit state due to job changes and had to sell a home at a loss causing foreclosures or bankruptcies. If we can validate and document the timing we may still be able to help them get into a home here.”

Into the future, Lindley said ECU is continuing to work on ways to make the mortgage process easier for members, through technology, process changes and enhanced tools. The credit union constantly monitors the markets and…